Mission and Spirit of Compass Salon

Sept. 1, 2018. Two weeks ago we announced our new event series "Compass Salon" which features Compass Talks but also a space for discussion, analysis and exercises to promote learning and action.

Since then we have been asked by many what this new event format is all about - so today we'd like to tell you a bit more about the mission and spirit of our new event format that we organize in cooperation with and host at CoCreation Loft Berlin.


Mission & Spirit of Compass Salon

Leading ourselves and others in a complex and rapidly changing world might be one of the most important challenges most of us are facing today. We are constantly overwhelmed by new possibilities and changes that we need to react to or that offer us new opportunities. And behind every decision we make lies a path in to a different and yet unknown future. But which path to choose? Which one of the many will lead us into the right direction? And how can we know it’s actually the right direction in the first place?

Many people base most of their decisions on external factors - they react to triggers provided by the economy, politics, family or society. And of course this is not totally unreasonable – it’s less effortful and it’s often a safe option to do what others are doing (imitation) or to respond to the immediate incentives (carrots and sticks) your environment provides you with. And anyhow: everybody needs some developmental scaffolding at certain times of their lives. But the external environment has become progressively less able to provide the kind of reliable guardrails that we need - established institutions have become weak or unsteady, disrupted by technology, globalization and individualization. And while imitation is always an option, reflection is a calling that we can no longer ignore if humanity is to survive and thrive in the coming decades and centuries, solving highly complex global problems such as climate change, AI or genetic engineering.

But what can I hold on to when things are shifting in stormy waters while - as a leader - people are trying to hold on to me?


We at Compass Talks believe that the less we can rely on external landmarks the more we need to do two things:

  1. First, you need to discover our inner compass and learn how to use it. In order to navigate through a world of constant uncertainty we need to look for guidance within ourselves and in our local communities and “tribes” – without becoming tribal. We need to learn how to discover and actively shape our perception and values and how to make decisions that are more conscious and that reflect ever-increasing circles of consciousness and compassion. The more we know about ourselves, our motives and our drives the more confident and determined will we lead ourselves and others.
  2. Second, we need to keep in mind what Abraham Lincoln is reported to have said: “A compass will point you true north form where you’re standing, but it’s got no advice about the swamps and deserts and chasms that you’ll encounter along the way. If in pursuit of your designation, you plunge ahead, heedless of obstacles, and achieve nothing more than to sink in a swamp…, then what’s the use of knowing true north?" So for success in life and business you need to keep long-term aspirations and immediate necessities in mind at the same time. You need not just a compass but also ecological sensitivity that respects your environment: time, space, and scale. And as strategist John Lewis Gaddis said: you need to align potentially unlimited aspirations with necessarily limited capabilities.

So in short you need to manage that balance between your vision, mission and values – your compass – with the features of the world in your concrete circumstances – the territory. We created the Compass Salon with its Compass Talks to help you with both. What Compass Salon strives to do Compass Salon provides you with the opportunity to discover your inner compass and to learn how to use it to navigate through the world. We invite speakers that share with us their very personal experiences and learnings and discuss and reflect with us on the meaning behind them. We provide a space that will help you to find the answer to some of the most fundamental questions about yourself and the world.


Curated talks, discussions and exercises will not only provide some answers to these questions but hopefully also give you insights and guidelines that you’ll be able to apply in your every-day life as a leader – or simply as a human being, ever striving, ever searching – never finished.

Let’s have a look at our compasses...


The first Compass Salon will be held on Oct 4, 2018 - invitation only. For more info visit the event announcement page "Launch of Compass Salon".